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Question DetailsAsked on 2/2/2016

How much should it cost to move a main circuit breaker panel a few feet over in the garage?

Same panel. Need it moved over about 6 feet to make room for a storm shelter.

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2 Answers


$2500 - $4500 but you may also require some rewiring.

If you have undergound feed, then the power comanpy needs to do some work.

All splices must be accessible. This means that the present panel will be converted into a splice box (junction box).

If this splice box is not acceptable, then you need to run new home runs.

A home run is the cable / wire that runs from the panel to the first outlet on the circuit.

Answered 4 years ago by Kestrel Electric


My recommendation - find another place for the shelter. While I suppose you could leave the panel in the shelter, I don't know that I would want all those wires and the panel in an emergency shelter, in case of shorting out or electrical fire during a storm. Using the existing panel as a junction box as Kestrel said does not gain you anything in that case - all the existing wiring would still be in there, so really no different than just leaving the panel there.

The cost may seem high, but when you move a panel all the wires (typically about 20 or more) have to be rerouted to the new panel, and in many cases (all but the ones already coming from by or near the new location) there is not enough wire to make it to the new panel location, so each circuit (and the main incoming feed) has to be spliced in an accessible junction box, or the "home run" from the first point of use (outlet, appliance, etc) on the circuit has to be replaced with new wire from there to the new breaker box - that is a LOT of rewiring, and a LOT of drywall repair too.

And note the cost he quoted is your likely cost WITHOUT drywall repair and repainting - so can easily run a thousand or more additional.

So - bottom line - put shelter/safe room elsewhere - maybe even put in a new egress door from the basement to an in-ground shelter buried under the yard, or if you have a crawlspace dig it into the crawlspace from the basement, assuming you have no high groundwater issues there.

One other thing about a storm shelter - bear in mind water levels during storms (I have seen a number of hurricane or tornado shelters that were prone to flooding in heavy storm rainfall or from rising streams/drain ditches, and it is always advisable to have an outside exit also in case of structural collapse over the inside door - both for eventual egress after the storm and also in case of fire or gas leak associated with a collapse, so having an outside storm shelter with both inside door and outside storm door serves that purpose. With a bit of creativity and a bit of additional size it can be configured for long-term storage of non-hazardous materials that do not mind a bit of a humid environment.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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